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“I on my horse, and Love on me, doth try,
And now man's wrongs in me, poor beast, descry.
The rein wherewith my rider doth me tie,
Of hope, which makes it seem fair to the eye.
The wand is will; thou, fancy, saddle art,
Girt fast by memory; and while I spur
He sits me fast, however I do stir,
The four following sonnets strike us as among the best in the volume. There is a certain delicacy of thought and expression which makes them very agreeable trifles of the kind, and although they can hardly be called poetry, they are not without some tincture of a poetical spirit, and the grace of a poetical
“When far-spent night persuades each mortal eye,
To whom nor art nor nature granteth light,
To lay his then mark-wanting shafts of sight,
Viewing the shape of darkness and delight;
Takes in that sad hue, which, with th' inward night
But when birds charm, and that sweet air, which is
Calls each wight to salute the flower of bliss ;
Forc'd by their lord, who is asham'd to find
“Leave me, O love! which reachest but to dust;
And thou, my mind, aspire to higher things:
Whatever fades, but fading pleasure brings.
Draw in thy beams, and humble all thy might
To that sweet yoke where lasting freedoms be,
That doth both shine, and give us sight to see.
O take fast hold ! let that light be thy guide,
In this small course which birth draws out to death,
Who seeketh heav'n, and comes of heav'nly breath.
Then farewell, world, thy uttermost I see,
The following pair of kisses would not be out of place in Joannes Secundus. They are not quite so burning as those which the amorous bard of Verona snatched from Lesbia's lips to give to immortality in song.
Love, still a boy, and oft a wanton is,
What wonder then, if he his lesson miss,
And yet my Star, because a sugar'd kiss
Doth low'r, nay chide, nay threat for only this:
But no 'scuse serves, she makes her wrath appear
In beauty's throne; see now, who dares come near
O heav'nly fool! thy most kiss-worthy face,
Anger invests with such a lovely grace,
"O kiss ! which dost those ruddy gems impart,
Breathing all bliss and sweet’ning to the heart ;
O kiss! which souls, ev'n souls, together ties
How fain would I paint thee to all men's eyes,
But she forbids, with blushing words, she says,
She builds her fame on higher-seated praise :
Then since, dear life, you fain would have me peace,
And I, mad with delight, want wit to cease,
The letters of Sir Philip Sidney are very justly characterized by Walpole, as "small matters.” There is nothing remarkable in them either one way or another-except the following, in which he is as “curst and brief,” as Sir Toby Belch could wish. The extreme insolence of this violent little epistle, is a fair sample of the manners of that time. From the swearing virago on the throne, down through every gradation and class of society, the same haughty and ungovernable temper was perpetually breaking out in the various shapes of formidable outrage or petty annoyance. The treatment which Sidney himself received from the Earl of Oxford, and which is detailed at length in his Life, is another striking illustration of it. One does not very well conceive how a knight (and such a knight) could have borne that mortal offence, though the De Vere had been of royal estate as well as lineage.
“ Mr. Molineux-Few words are best. My letters to my father have come to the eyes of some. Neither can I condemn any but you for it. If it be so, you have played the very knave with me; and so I will make you know, if I have good proof of it. But that for so much as is past. For that is to come, I assure you before God, that if ever I know you do so much as read any letter I write to my father, without his commandment, or my consent, I will thrust my dagger into you. And trust to it, for I speak it in earnest. In the meantime farewell. From court, this last of May, 1578.* By me,
“ PHILIP SIDNEY. “Indorsed, Mr. Philip Sidney to me, brought 1578, by my lord chancellor; received the 21st of June.”
“This letter was not written to the steward, as Walpole falsely states, but to the secretary of Sir H. Sidney, Edward Molineux, Esq. of Nutfield, in the county of Surrey. Sir Philip imagined, erroneously, as he afterwards confessed, that this gentleman had basely betrayed the confidence of his employer, and furnished the enemies of the aged lord deputy with matter of accusation against him. Though the above epistle, therefore, is sadly deficient in point of discretion and temper, it shows the intensity of our author's filial regard; and, whatever may be deducted from our estimation of the coolness of his head on account of it, an equivalent must, we apprehend, be substituted in our increased love and respect for the amiable qualities of his heart."
Sir Philip's prose was more poetical than his verse ; and shews abilities which time might have ripened into the grave authorship of Raleigh, or the political wisdom of Buckhurst.
Art. III.-Eloquence of the United States. Compiled by E. B.
Williston. An enlarged edition. In 5 vols.
A COMPLETE and comprehensive collection of American oratory remains still a desideratum, notwithstanding the attempt to supply it by the compiler of the work, the title of which stands at the head of this article. We despair, in fact, of beholding such a collection while the body of our unreported eloquence continues to expand in the same proportion as it has ever since the era of the Revolution. While the displays, both feeble and forcible, of our congressional orators are spread before the public in all their amplitude, the treasures of our forensic eloquence are rapidly passing into obscurity. The utmost industry will be unable, after the lapse of a few years, to gather up the materials of the national fame in this department of oratory, so as to put them into any durable form, or, we fear, to enshrine the least of its relics, so quickly do the splendid memorials of genius, with the barren remains of mediocrity, float together down the stream of oblivion.
The speeches delivered at the bar of the Supreme Court, stand some chance of being rescued from the fate which impends over the whole mass of our juridical eloquence, should they be characterized by power of argument or splendour of rhetoric. But how small a portion do they constitute of the great body of American forensic'oratory! How unsatisfactory such speciinens, if intended to exhibit the opulence of our resources and the vigour of our efforts in this single division of the art! How imperfect such materials, considered as a standard by which to measure the stature of the national mind, and the magnitude of its achievements, in this one department of oratory, embracing the pleadings before at least a hundred separate judicatories. The amount of intellectual effort impelled into this channel in the United States, is almost incalculable.
Now when it is considered that the forums of this country have ever been the nurseries of those principles which lie at the foundation of our republican constitutions—when it is recollected that under the training induced in these schools of eloquence, is acquired the moral courage which blends investigations into first principles with the defence of personal rights—when it is seen that the exhibitions of our advocates embrace almost every variety of oratory-that they unite a subtle logic with a bold declamation and appeals which address themselves to the loftiest principles of action, with such as touch the sympathies and sensibilities of our universal nature—when these circumstances are remembered, it is impossible not to regret that so large a proportion of our juridical eloquence is irrecoverably perished. Nor is this regret lessened by the reflection that the art of reporting, with all its present "appliances and means," enables us to preserve but a few of the fragments which confer lustre on our own period.
Did we possess merely a moiety of the rich accumulations which were formed down to the era of the Revolution, wbat aid would not such a collection afford for tracing the principles of that great movement to their germs in the minds of the lawyers of that period! What light would not a body of such oratory lend to investigation, if by means of its recorded triumphs—its well authenticated achievements, we could follow the successive steps of so memorable a transaction from its incipient stages to its final consummation, and behold, in distinct colours, the action of a few gifted minds on the popular sentiment of that period, with the reaction of that sentiment on the oratory which is nourished by the aliment of the passions in a season of general fermentation !
In this wreck of our oratorical treasures, if we had preserved the speeches of a small number on a limited theatre, we should then have had proper materials of comparison with other countries and epochs. If those could re-appear, with some share of their original radiance, who shed a brightness over the public councils, and who were translated from the forum to the senate, when the defence of private rights was postponed or suspended by the perils which threatened general privileges, we should then possess some means of measuring our claims to a place for our orators by the side of the mighty masters of the art.
It is the heroic ages of eloquence which can alone furnish the elements of such a comparison. The orator who rises in great conjunctures, supplies the principles of just parallel with ihose of a different country or epoch, who pursue the same lofty and glorious line of exertion, for he has mankind and posterity for his audience. He speaks to universal sympathies. He is the representative, as it were, of the wrongs or the privileges of the whole human race. lie addresses those principles which are immutable amid all changes of policy, all fluctuations of opinion and of manners. Like the poet who writes for futurity and mankind, he appeals to sensibilities and impulses which are common to the whole human family. He explores the sources of those universal affections by the magic of his genius, and builds on them the fabric of bis enduring reputation. But in ordinary periods-in times when men's